Huge swarms of bats wreak destruction in Australian town
Batemans Bay struggles to cope with 100,000 flying foxes, a protected species that can't be culled
More than 100,000 bats have descended on the holiday town of Batemans Bay in New South Wales, Australia, with one local politician declaring it a disaster after residents were hit with a wave of dirt and destruction.
The noisy bats, commonly known as flying foxes, have caused power outages, kept tourists away and hit property prices in the south coast town, according to Australia's Seven News.
"Well, I think it's a natural disaster. It's a disaster for residents, it's a disaster for the flora and fauna," said local
MP Andrew Constance.
The bats, a protected species that cannot be culled, set up a colony in the town years ago but numbers have multiplied over time, media said.
The NSW Government pledged an additional A$1 million ($943,300) for state councils to manage problem bat colonies on Tuesday. They previously committed A$2.5 million for the "camp of unprecedented size" at Batemans Bay which has disrupted daily routines.
"Every morning, without fail, I have to wash the deck, wash the car," local resident Kent Lewis said.